Fancy it up with Figs – Fig, Caramelized Onion, Goat Cheese Pizza with Balsamic Glaze

Being a female in the science and engineering world usually means you’re surrounded by men the majority of the time. Luckily, in my field, the ratio of men to women is about 60:40. And in my class specifically, the ratio is much closer to 50/50. But even though there’s a large number of girls I can talk to, we often don’t see each other much since we no longer take the same classes and are in different lab groups. Fortunately, we all like to get together once in a while to have a girls’ night! So last month, my housemates and I hosted girls’ night at our house, complete with grilled pizzas, dessert (ice cream and dessert pizza), nail painting, and a movie!

Butternut Squash, Kale, and Goat Cheese Pizza

Grilling is definitely the easiest way to cook a pizza. All you have to do is put the dough onto the grill for a few minutes on each side and then top the second side with your desired toppings. You’ll have pizza ready in less than 10 minutes! The dough gets these great grill marks and is both puffy and crispy. Who says girls can’t grill?

Pizza topped with caramelized onions, tomato, and mozzarella

We grilled several pizzas with different toppings: 1) a butternut squash, kale, and goat cheese pizza; 2) a corn, barbecue sauce, and mozzarella pizza; and 3) a caramelized onions, tomato, and mozzarella pizza. But the best one, by far, was the pizza topped with caramelized onions, goat cheese, fresh figs, and basil and then drizzled with a balsamic glaze. The pizza was devoured so quickly that I barely had a chance to snap up pictures and take a bite.

This fig pizza was so delicious!!! The sweetness of the figs and caramelized onions combined with the creaminess and tanginess of the goat cheese and the acidic balsamic glaze was a perfect balance of flavors. Also, the pieces of basil added a nice freshness to the pizza and I’m sure this pizza would pair well with a nice red wine. With these toppings, you can elevate plain old pizza into a refined, fancy dish. Perfect for dinner parties, nice brunches, or girls’ nights!

Side note: If you can get your hands on fresh figs right now, definitely make this pizza! I’m very fortunate to have an aunt who lives nearby with a very productive fig tree and this season, she’s been picking tons of gigantic figs. I’m in fig heaven right now!

Fig, Caramelized Onion, Goat Cheese Pizza with Balsamic Glaze
Created from my imagination and similar to these recipes (Bon Appetit and Food.com)

Dough for 1 pizza (here’s the recipe I usually use)
Fresh figs (I used Black Mission Figs, but I’m sure you can use whatever kind you like)
1 Onion
Goat Cheese
Honey
Balsamic Vinegar and sugar (for balsamic glaze)
Basil

(I can’t really give you quantities of the ingredients since it all depends on how much you like each ingredient. Since I absolutely love figs, I put about 1 lb of figs on the pizza. Adjust the amounts to your liking.)

1. Make pizza dough and roll out flat (about 1/3 – 1/2 in thick).
2. Saute sliced or diced onions until translucent and slightly browned.
3. Slice figs and break goat cheese into chunks.
4. Dissolve a few tablespoons of sugar into 1/4 – 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan. Heat over low to medium heat until vinegar reduces and becomes thick. Stir occasionally.
5. Place pizza dough on to grill for 3-5 minutes or until slightly browned and dough has grill marks.
6. Flip the dough over to grill the other side. Brush the top with olive oil and quickly top with figs, onions, and goat cheese.
7. Carefully remove the dough from the grill after checking the bottom has cooked.
8. Sprinkle top of pizza with shredded basil leaves and drizzle with honey and balsamic glaze.
9. Slice pizza and enjoy! (Be warned, this pizza will be devoured within a blink of an eye, so make sure to get a piece!)

This post has been Yeastspotted.

Advertisements

Ready to Party – Margarita Cupcakes

Despite going to a huge party school and one in Texas, I wasn’t much of a drinker… until I turned 21. Lucky for me, I lived in one of the best cities to party. Austin is notoriously known for drinking, probably because it has 6th Street, a huge street lined with bars and clubs. It’s tradition to celebrate your 21st birthday downtown, hopping from bar to bar to get your free birthday shot. The ultimate goal is to drink 21 shots, which rarely happens. I’m quite the lightweight and suffer from asian glow, so on my 21st, I was only able to handle a measly 3 shots.

The famous Mexican Martini from Trudy’s

Another great birthday tradition is getting a famous Mexican Martini at Trudy’s… for FREE! A mix between a martini and a margarita, the Mexican Martini (aka Mexi-Mart) was notoriously strong, so strong that they limit you to only two per night. Don’t worry though, one drink is a full shaker, so it’s more than enough. And be careful because Mexi-Marts are known to sneak up on people. So if you’re ever thinking of going to Austin, you should definitely stop by Trudy’s.

Feeling a bit homesick for Austin and those margaritas, I made these margarita cupcakes using this recipe from Browneyed Baker since it had the most alcohol. 😉 However, even though it calls for several tablespoons of tequila, I had a hard time tasting the alcohol. But then again, if you’re wanting alcohol, you should probably just take a shot instead of eating a cupcake. 😛

These cupcakes were absolutely delicious! I made them for a party and everyone else seemed to agree. I’m not sure if they really tasted like a margarita, but there was definitely a strong lime flavor, which may have masked some of the tequila flavor. That was probably my fault in adding too much lime zest and juice to the frosting. Apparently, I have a heavy hand. 😛

Even though they may not have tasted like margaritas, you could definitely whip one up for yourself while making them. In fact, while pouring out tablespoons of tequila, I secretly wanted to pour myself a shot. Shh… don’t tell anyone.

Margarita Cupcakes
Adapted from Browneyed Baker (I doubled her recipe)

For the Cupcakes:
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
Zest and juice of 3 limes
4 tablespoons tequila (or more!)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk (I used sour cream instead)

To Brush the Cupcakes:
1-2 tablespoons tequila (I didn’t measure because more tequila the better! jk)

For the Tequila-Lime Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons tequila
Pinch of coarse salt (I forgot this)

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
3. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale, light, and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
4. Add the eggs one at at time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
5. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the lime zest, lime juice, vanilla extract and tequila. Mix until combined. (The mixture may start to look curdled at this point, but don’t worry, it will all come back together, power on!) She was right! It looked gross, but came together at the end.
6. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk in two batches. Mix only until just incorporated, using a rubber spatula to give it one last mix by hand.
7. Pour the batter into the muffin cups. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until just slightly golden.
8. Allow cupcakes to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, and then remove to a cooling rack. Brush the tops of the cupcakes with the 1 to 2 tablespoons of tequila. Set the cupcakes aside to cool completely before frosting them.
9. To make the frosting, whip the butter for 5 minutes. Gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing and scraping the sides of the bowl until all is incorporated. Add the lime juice, tequila and salt mix on medium-high speed until incorporated and fluffy. If the frosting appears a bit too soft, add some additional sugar, one spoonful at a time until desired consistency is reached. Frost cupcakes and garnish, if desired, with lime zest, an additional sprinkling of salt and a lime wedge.